Rhiannon Day, Research Assistant

Rhiannon Day

Research Assistant

Rhiannon Day is a Research Assistant currently working within nutrition and childhood obesity research within the School of Health at Leeds Beckett University.

Since Rhiannon’s appointment as Research Assistant to the Institute for Health and Wellbeing in 2012, Rhiannon has worked on a number of research projects within the departments of Health Promotion and Nutrition and Childhood Obesity. Most recently, Rhiannon has supported the delivery of research aiming to evaluate parents' (of a child aged up to 11 years) awareness and perceptions of the Change4Life '100 calorie snack campaign' and perceived impact on snack purchasing behaviours. Rhiannon supported the design and delivery of the online survey for parents; the survey analysis and report of findings.

Rhiannon has also recently supported the delivery of research aiming to improve vitamin D intake in the first 1000 days of life, funded by Nutricia Early Life Nutrition. This comprised exploring healthcare professionals (e.g. midwives/health visitors) and Early Years Practitioners' knowledge and awareness of the role and recommendations of vitamin D; as well as parents' (of children under the age of 2 years) perceptions, awareness and behaviours of vitamin D intake, during pregnancy and at key stages of a child's development; exploring possible factors (such as education, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status and cost) that would impede and/ or facilitate parents’ willingness to purchase certain fortified foods or drinks. The research made recommendations for effective methods for improving vitamin D status in the first 1000 days of life. Using the findings from this study, a further pilot study was conducted: to develop and test the acceptability and impact of a vitamin D infographic to support parents to meet their vitamin D requirements during pregnancy and for their children.

Rhiannon has also recently supported the delivery of two evaluations of primary school-based healthy lifestyle programmes. First, an evaluation of the effectiveness of a primary school-based intervention (funded by Leeds City Council) underpinned by whole-school approach, designed to impact on the dietary intake of fruit and vegetables, food and drinks high in fat and sugar, of pupils. The evaluation aimed to examine the impact of the intervention on pupils' intake of fruit and vegetables; food and drinks high in fat and sugar and psychological wellbeing (dietary restraint and body image perception); as well as a process evaluation exploring programme acceptance, perceptions of delivery, implementation, sustainability and reach. Second, a feasibility study of the acceptability and feasibility of a primary school-based nutrition and physical activity educational programme (PhunkyFoods), delivered within primary schools in Halifax (funded by Nestle Healthy Kids Network): aimed at improving health related knowledge and behaviours related to a healthy lifestyle (diet and physical activity); appropriateness of outcomes and outcome measures; acceptability and delivery of the intervention, recruitment, retention, sample size estimation, to inform a future RCT. Rhiannon was responsible for a large part of the process evaluations, carrying out considerable qualitative and quantitative data collection (questionnaires, interviews with staff and focus groups with children) and was responsible for all of the qualitative analysis and the reports of these findings.

This expanded upon previous experience in undertaking surveys, research interviews and focus groups and concomitant analysis of research findings and report production, for several community based research projects. These have included: an evaluation of the ‘Helping Hand Framework’ commissioned by Leeds City Council, based on the successful HENRY programme, to support families with more complex and enduring needs; a systematic review for NHS Diabetes on the transition from paediatric to adult health care for children/young people with long term conditions; two evaluations of programmes involving lay health educators, Health Champions: An Evaluation of the Health Champions Programme in Sunderland and Altogether Better’s NHS LifeCheck Demonstrator Project; a thematic analysis of local people’s views in relation to service provision within Sunderland TPCT and an evaluation of stakeholder perspectives and engagement within the Leeds Local Involvement Network. Rhiannon has also undertaken patient and public involvement work to inform NIHR research bids, involving interviews with service users to contribute to study design and proposed methodologies.

Research Interests

Rhiannon's research interests and experience mainly revolve around evaluating the effectiveness of interventions to improve a healthy lifestyle and prevent obesity in children. Rhiannon is currently working with a team of international researchers on a Cochrane Systematic Review: evaluating psychological interventions delivered as a single component intervention as part of a weight management intervention, for children and adolescents with overweight or obesity, aged 6 to 17 years; carrying out screening and data extraction. The findings should be published later in the year.

Rhiannon Day, Research Assistant

Selected Outputs

  • Day R; Sahota P; Christian M; Krishnarao R (2017) Improving vitamin D intake in the first 1000 days of life.

  • Sahota P; Day R; Krishnarao R; Christian M (2017) The evaluation of a primary school healthy eating programme within Leeds West CCG.

  • Sahota P; Christian MS; Day RE; Cocks K; Taylor-Covill G (2015) Feasibility Study – The evaluation of the PhunkyFoods programme.

  • Sahota P; Ensaff H; Day RE (2014) The evaluation of the Helping Hand Framework.

  • Kime NH; Bagnall A-M; Day R (2013) Systematic review of transition models for young people with long-term conditions: A report for NHS Diabetes.

    View Repository Record

  • Warwick-Booth L; Day R (2012) A thematic analysis of local people's views in relation to service provision within Sunderland tPCT.

  • Kinsella K; Day RE; South J (2012) Gathering stakeholder perspectives on the engagement of the Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector (VCF) organisations in Leeds LINk.

  • Woodall J; Day RE (2012) An evaluation of Jigsaw Visitors’ Centre’s Drama Project delivered to prisoners and their children at HMP Leeds.

  • Woodward J; Day R; White J (2012) An Evaluation of Altogether Better’s NHS LifeCheck Demonstrator Project.

  • Warwick-Booth L; Woodall J; South J; Bagnall A; Day R; Cross R (2012) An evaluation of Sunderland Health Champions Programme.

    View Repository Record